*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Wings of Fury
Author: Emily R. King
Publication Date: March 1, 2021
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Cronus, God of Gods, whose inheritance is the world. Among his possessions: women, imprisoned and fated to serve. The strong-minded Althea Lambros controls her own fate and lives to honor her dying mother’s plea to protect her two sisters at all costs. Althea’s journey toward crushing the tyranny has begun. It is a destiny foretold by the Fates. And she is following their visions.
Wings of Fury is outside of the scope of what I usually read in terms of genre. Based on Greek Mythology, this novel is a retelling of the rise of Zeus from a female perspective. Part fantasy, part feminist novel, this young adult story is an attempt at making mythology a bit more accessible to young readers. It is easy to read and the protagonist will be appealing to female readers in particular who are seeking strong women in fiction. I don’t think it’ll be making the bestseller list any time soon, but it certainly stands out from a lot of the other YA fiction dominating the market these days. It’s something fresh and different. It’s a bit of a soft intro to feminism as well in a genre that’s typically portrayed through the male gaze.
I really enjoyed that this novel is trying to be something different in a see of “very much the same.” A strong female lead takes on the challenge of overthrowing the God of Gods, Cronus, who has ruled for centuries with his tyrannical and lecherous ways. Althea is a becon of hope in a society that has lost all hope. Men reign supreme while women are nothing but property, worth barely more than the dirt beneath their feet. It’s an interesting take and it brings something new to the table.
A lot of the writing, the dialogue in particular, seems a bit anachronistic in terms of style. If we’re accurately portraying Greek mythology here, there should be a bit more of an attempt to make the language a bit more comparable. It reads incredibly modern to me, and perhaps that’s an attempt to make it feel a bit more accessible and attainable to younger readers. As someone who studied Classics in my undergrad, I found the language to be a bit jarring and disjointed. It creates a hyper-fantasy sense, going a little too far with the genre so that it actually ends up disrupting the flow of the story.
And, of course, no YA is complete without the cliche romance dotting it’s pages. It did really feel wholly unnecessary to furthering the plot of this story, so it’s a bit disappointing to see that a romance plot is included. But, it’s relatively tame and isn’t the primary focal point of the plot. It’s merely a side story that doesn’t detract too much, overall.
Verdict: it’s not the best and it’s not the worst. I can’t say I would have ever purchased this for myself, even in my younger reading life. But it was an enjoyable departure from the usual books in my TBR.